Human evolution

Hominin explorers were poor planners

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
507,
Page:
277
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/507277d
Published online

Hominin migrations, such as those out of Africa, might have been led by individuals with low levels of foresight.

A team led by Colin Wren at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, modelled the migratory behaviour of individuals, based on the complexity of their environments and their cognitive ability to assess and seek out better environments.

The model predicted that those with poorer foresight were more likely to stumble on a better habitat, and therefore disperse into new areas. Furthermore, homogeneous environments fostered exploration because the more constant level of resources allowed explorers to travel further than those in a more heterogeneous setting.

J. Hum. Evol. http://doi.org/rwd (2014)

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